“Bulgarians are strange people…”

So said Kristin, a woman who works in a second-hand store just down the street from my apartment. I had gone to return an item that wasn’t working correctly, and Kristin remembered me from my previous visit. We chatted a bit, and she began to tell me about how she understood her country’s people. Kristin said that Bulgarians see things negatively and don’t smile much, comparing them to me and my quick smile as an American. She said much of this was a result of Communism, though that fell close to 25 years ago. I asked her if she thought that Bulgarians didn’t have hope for the future, and she said, “No, they hope for a lot of things, but they don’t do anything about it, so nothing ever changes.”